DISQUIETING SWIMMERS: JILL GREENBERG
Posted on June 12, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi
As summer is approaching and I want to swim in whatever can be defined a pond with some water in it, I thought about Jill Greenberg’s “Glass Ceiling” images. Back in 2008, Greenberg was commissioned a commercial fort the US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team. The shoot asked the ladies to wear high heels. Struck by the absurdity of it, Greenberg was inspired to create a fine art set that would show the tension of the models coming to the surface, gasping for air while wrestling with the weight of the water as a metaphor for the role women must play in the outside world. Those portraits of pure feminist art also pushed the boundaries of Greenberg’s digital knowledge. Absurd and suggestive images. Greenberg is one of the earliest users of Photoshop and master of technology in all of her work. Her portraits are often metaphorical, showing what the setup of being a woman is. Her photographs show women in swimsuits and high heels but the water destabilize their elegance and cut off their head. The heels are absurd, hindering their movement and emphasizing their lack of control. Their identities are thus inconsequential, only their bodies are sexualized and in focus thus depicting a sort of the male psyche.While Greenberg is known for her incredible portraiture that includes crying babies, celebrities or even cuddly bears, she’s equally adept at taking her camera off land and under water. A definitely thought-provoking photographer.